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3 O'Clock High: Retail Ponderings, Minyan Mailbags and More


Buddy Revell was quite the boxer, 'till Jerry Mitchell came along.


The Retail Rally has been cancelled. No further news available.

I smelled a bit of a retail rally when I wrote about Walgreens (WAG) on the Buzz yesterday. Last Friday seemed like a short-term peak in "sky-is-falling" sentiment.

"Of course sales are weak! God (a lefty) keeps hooking hurricanes at the US via the Gulf of Mexico! The end is neigh and, as a stock rule, neigh ends result in multiple compression!"

The Monday futures were jaunty. Walgreen's pharmacy biz (the guts of the place) did well. Seemed like retail overall had bottomed last week.

I still expect the sales numbers next week to be soft. I think estimates will be missed and guidance will be lowered. But that was being built into the stocks when the Retail Holdrs (RTH) went from 103.96 on August 1st to 89.9ty something on Sept 22nd.

As of this scribing, the Walgreen's worked for a trade, if you bought it anytime yesterday. The stock opened Monday weak and stayed there, ending down $1.01 on the day. Today, with the "Buy the Dip" singers working the sellside phones, WAG is $42.70, about 20-cents ahead of where it closed, pre-miss, last Friday.

That's ok action, trading wise, but it's not going to get you a GI-Joe with a Kung-Fu grip for the kid this Christmas. The action in retailers who aren't being defended today is "Blug". That's not the look you want to look better, when looking for an upturn in retail stock charts.

I'm not advising taking the WAG back off and booking movie-rental worth of trades (provided you return the DVD w/in 14 days) and I didn't advise getting long in the first place.

I'm just saying... if bad news was "in" the retail stocks, they'd be acting much better right now.

The Jeffmacke Bone-Fone: "Approved by Mom!"

The San Francisco Chronicle continues to unwittingly (?) add fuel to the nascent bonfire of Jeffmacke Bone-Fone demand. Today the paper runs a long-form article investigating whether or not listening to ear-buds at high volumes for long periods of time damages hearing.

"The difference between a car stereo, say, and an earbud is that the latter is placed in the ear and that much closer to the tympanic membrane" says someone quoted in the article (and therefore to be listened to on this topic).

As you can see from an unretouched photo of a primitive Bone-Fone [not affiliated w/ Jeffmacke Bone-Fone's], the Bone-Fone by its very design goes nowhere near the ear.

The market for "Apple (AAPL) comes out w/ an i-Bone-Fone by mid '06" is trading in the low-70s.

In my imagination.

Minyan John "Chattering" Toth writes:

Hey Macke

I'm holding out for the wireless version of the can make them as small as possible but you're still connected by that silly wire........Now give me a nano and wireless headphones that are cool looking and you'll get me to reach into my pocket before my yearly Boxing Day electronics upgrade spree.

P.S. in Canada, Boxing Day is the day following Christmas when retail stores try to move as much of their older merchandise at severely discounted prices,,,,,they also bring in a bunch of crap at not so discounted prices hoping to catch you in the post Christmas glow.

Have a great day

John from Canada

Nice to get a letter from the Great White North!

We had boxing day after Christmas at my (American) house as well only it involved my older brother beating me about the head and body. Typical of Americans to take one of your gentle customs (ripping off electronics consumers) and injecting violence, huh?

I'd be all for the wireless i-pod headphones but I fear it would end the same way my previous wireless headphone buys ended: With me holding a Boxing Day at the returns desk.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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